Friday, July 21, 2006
The country's oldest seaport is Haifa Port, built by the British in the early 1930s. Ashdod Port, further south on the Mediterranean coast, was opened in November 1965, replacing cargo operations in Tel Aviv. Eilat Port is Israel's only non-Mediterranean harbor (not shown in theSince Israel is surrounded by Arab countries the seaports handle 98% of the country's import and export cargoes. In normal days, one quarter of the cargoes are handled by Haifa port. However, it has been closed since Hezbollah's rocket attack. All ships have been requested to dock outside the port or sail to Ashdod Port.
In addition the cargoes insurance price have risen from 0.025% to 0.5% (20 times higher!). The government is going to cover these expenses.
Israel's reaction to Hezbollah attacks (I would dare say) is moderate, given the fact that it practically shut down 25% of Israel's import/export capability.
By clicking the map you will see that the range from Lebanon to Haifa equals the range from Gaza strip to Ashdod (which handles three quarters of the cargoes) . If the Palestinians acquired Iranian weapons and target Ashdod port from Gaza – hell will break loose.
A more optimistic scenario is that someday in the future Gaza would have their own port and a railway connecting them to Jordan and Israel. This would be one of their main income source. Many cities around the world such as New York, London and Hong Kong became large trade center due to their port facilites and central location.